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The Description of the Gardens of the Truthful and Those Who repent

Allah, the Exalted, says that the Gardens (of Paradise), which the penitent will enter, will be Gardens of `Adn, meaning, eternity. These are Gardens that the Most Beneficent promises His servants in the unseen. This means that these Gardens are from the unseen things that they believe in, even though they have never witnessed them. They believe in the unseen out of their strong conviction and the strength of their faith. Concerning Allah's statement,

﴿ إِنَّهُ ۥ كَانَ وَعۡدُهُ ۥ مَأۡتِيًّ۬ا

(Verily, His promise must come to pass.) This affirms the fact that this will occur, and that it is a settled matter. Allah does not break His promise, nor does He change it. This is similar to His statement,

﴿ كَانَ وَعۡدُهُ ۥ مَفۡعُولاً

(His promise is certainly to be accomplished.) (73:18) This means that His promise will be and there is no avoiding it. Allah's statement here,

﴿ مَأۡتِيًّ۬ا

(must come to pass.) This means that it will come to His servants who are striving towards it and they will reach it. There are those commentators who said,

﴿ مَأۡتِيًّ۬ا

(must come to pass.) "This means it is coming, because everything that comes to you, you also come to it. This is as the Arabs say, `Fifty years came to me, and I came to fifty years.' They both mean the same thing (I'm fifty years old).'' Concerning Allah's statement,

﴿ لَّا يَسۡمَعُونَ فِيہَا لَغۡوًا

(They shall not hear therein any Laghw.) This means that in these gardens of Paradise there is no ignorant, wasteful and useless speech, like there is in this life. He said,

﴿ إِلَّا سَلَـٰمً۬ا‌ۖ

(...but only Salam.) This is an indifferent exception, similar to Allah's statement,

﴿ لَا يَسۡمَعُونَ فِيہَا لَغۡوً۬ا وَلَا تَأۡثِيمًا إِلَّا قِيلاً۬ سَلَـٰمً۬ا سَلَـٰمً۬ا

(No Laghw will they hear therein, nor any sinful speech. But only the saying of: Salam! Salam!) (56:25-26) Concerning His statement,

﴿ وَلَهُمۡ رِزۡقُهُمۡ فِيہَا بُكۡرَةً۬ وَعَشِيًّ۬ا

(And they will have therein their sustenance, morning and afternoon.) This means, in what is similar to mornings and evenings. This does not mean that there is a night and a day (in Paradise), but they will be living in times that alternate. They will know its lighted times from its lights and illumination. This is as Imam Ahmad recorded from Abu Hurayrah, who said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« أَوَّلُ زُمْرَةٍ تَلِجُ الْجَنَّةَ صُوَرُهُمْ عَلَى صُورَةِ الْقَمَرِ لَيْلَةَ الْبَدْرِ لَا يَبْصُقُونَ فِيهَا، وَلَا يَتَمَخَّطُونَ فِيهَا. وَلَا يَتَغَوَّطُونَ، آنِيَتُهُمْ وَأَمْشَاطُهُمُ الذَّهَبُ وَالْفِضَّةُ وَمَجَامِرُهُمُ الْأَلُوَّةُ، وَرَشْحُهُمُ الْمِسْكُ وَلِكُلِّ وَاحِدٍ مِنْهُمْ زَوْجَتَانِ، يُرَى مُخُّ سَاقِهَا مِنْ وَرَاءِ اللَّحْمِ مِنَ الْحُسْنِ، لَا اخْتِلَافَ بَيْنَهُمْ وَلَا تَبَاغُضَ، قُلُوبُهُمْ عَلَى قَلْبِ رَجُلٍ وَاحِدٍ، يُسَبِّحُونَ اللهَ بُكْرَةً وَعَشِيًّا »

(The first group to enter into Paradise will have forms like the form of the moon on a night when it is full. They will not spit, nor will they blow their noses therein. They also will not defecate. Their containers and combs will be made of gold and silver and their censers will be of aloes wood. Their sweat will be the fragrance of musk and each of them will have two wives. The marrow of their shins will be visible from beneath the skin due to their beauty. They will not have any disputes between them, or any hatred. Their hearts will be united like the heart of one man. They will glorify Allah in the morning and evening.) Al-Bukhari and Muslim both recorded this narration in the Two Sahihs. Imam Ahmad also recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« الشُّهَدَاءُ عَلَى بَارِقِ نَهْرٍ بِبَابِ الْجَنَّةِ فِي قُبَّةٍ خَضْرَاءَ، يَخْرُجُ عَلَيْهِمْ رِزْقُهُمْ مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ بُكْرَةً وَعَشِيًّا »

(The martyrs will be upon the banks of a river by the gates of Paradise. Over them will be a green dome. Their sustenance will be brought out to them from Paradise, morning and evening.) Ahmad is the only one who collected this narration. Ad-Dahhak reported that Ibn `Abbas said,

﴿ وَلَهُمۡ رِزۡقُهُمۡ فِيہَا بُكۡرَةً۬ وَعَشِيًّ۬ا

(And they will have therein their sustenance, morning and afternoon.) "This means the amount of time equal to night and day.'' Allah said,

﴿ تِلۡكَ ٱلۡجَنَّةُ ٱلَّتِى نُورِثُ مِنۡ عِبَادِنَا مَن كَانَ تَقِيًّ۬ا

(Such is the Paradise which We shall give as an inheritance to those of Our servants who had Taqwa.) This means, `This Paradise that We have described with these magnificent attributes, it is that which We will cause are pious servants to inherit.' They are those who obey Allah in happiness and times of hardship. They are those who suppress their anger and they pardon people's offenses. This is as Allah says at the beginning of Surah Al-Mu'minun,

﴿ قَدۡ أَفۡلَحَ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنُونَ ٱلَّذِينَ هُمۡ فِى صَلَاتِہِمۡ خَـٰشِعُونَ

(Successful indeed are the believers. Those who are humble in their Salah.) (23:1-2) Until His saying,

﴿ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلۡوَٲرِثُونَ ٱلَّذِينَ يَرِثُونَ ٱلۡفِرۡدَوۡسَ هُمۡ فِيہَا خَـٰلِدُونَ

(These are indeed the inheritors. Who shall inherit the Firdaws. In it they shall dwell forever.) (23:10-11)

﴿ وَمَا نَتَنَزَّلُ إِلَّا بِأَمۡرِ رَبِّكَ‌ۖ لَهُ ۥ مَا بَيۡنَ أَيۡدِينَا وَمَا خَلۡفَنَا وَمَا بَيۡنَ ذَٲلِكَ‌ۚ وَمَا كَانَ رَبُّكَ نَسِيًّ۬ا رَّبُّ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَمَا بَيۡنَہُمَا فَٱعۡبُدۡهُ وَٱصۡطَبِرۡ لِعِبَـٰدَتِهِۦ‌ۚ هَلۡ تَعۡلَمُ لَهُ ۥ سَمِيًّ۬ا

(64. And we descend not except by the command of your Lord. To Him belongs what is before us and what is behind us, and what is between those two; and your Lord is never forgetful.) (65. Lord of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them, so worship Him and abide patiently in His worship. Do you know of any who is similar to Him)

The Angels do not descend, except by Allah's Command

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah said to Jibril,

« مَا يَمْنَعُكَ أَنْ تَزُورَنَا أَكْثَرَ مِمَّا تَزُورُنَا؟ »

(What prevents you from visiting us more than you do) Then this Ayah was revealed,

﴿ وَمَا نَتَنَزَّلُ إِلَّا بِأَمۡرِ رَبِّكَ‌ۖ

(And we descend not except by the command of your Lord.) Al-Bukhari was alone in recording it and he related it with the Tafsir of this Ayah. Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas that he said, "Jibril was kept from visiting the Messenger of Allah, so he was disturbed and grieved because of this. Then, Jibril came to him and said, `O Muhammad,

﴿ وَمَا نَتَنَزَّلُ إِلَّا بِأَمۡرِ رَبِّكَ‌ۖ

(And we descend not except by the command of your Lord.)''' Allah said,

﴿ لَهُ ۥ مَا بَيۡنَ أَيۡدِينَا وَمَا خَلۡفَنَا

(To Him belongs what is before us and what is behind us,) It has been said that the meaning of "what is before us'' refers to that which is in this life and "what is behind us'' refers to the Hereafter.

﴿ وَمَا بَيۡنَ ذَٲلِكَ‌ۚ

(and what is between those two;) This means what is between two blows of the Sur. This is the opinion of Abu Al-`Aliyah, `Ikrimah and Mujahid. This was also stated by Sa`id bin Jubayr and Qatadah in one narration from them. As-Suddi and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas held this opinion as well. It has also been said,

﴿ مَا بَيۡنَ أَيۡدِينَا

(what is before us) means the future matters of the Hereafter.

﴿ وَمَا خَلۡفَنَا

(what is behind us,) means what has taken place in this life,

﴿ وَمَا بَيۡنَ ذَٲلِكَ‌ۚ

(what is between those two;) means what happens between this life and the Hereafter. A statement like this explanation has been reported from Ibn `Abbas, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, Ibn Jurayj and Ath-Thawri. Ibn Jarir also preferred this latter interpretation. And Allah knows best. Concerning Allah's statement,

﴿ وَمَا كَانَ رَبُّكَ نَسِيًّ۬ا

(and your Lord is never forgetful.) Mujahid said, "This means that your Lord has not forgotten you.'' Allah said,

﴿ رَّبُّ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَمَا بَيۡنَہُمَا

(Lord of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them,) He created all of that, He is the Disposer of its affairs, He is the Legislator over it and He is in absolute control of it, having no one to oppose His decisions.

﴿ فَٱعۡبُدۡهُ وَٱصۡطَبِرۡ لِعِبَـٰدَتِهِۦ‌ۚ هَلۡ تَعۡلَمُ لَهُ ۥ سَمِيًّ۬ا

(so worship Him and abide patiently in his worship. Do you know of any who is similar to Him) `Ali bin Abi Talhah related that Ibn `Abbas said that this means, "Do you know any comparison or some- thing similar to the Lord'' Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Qatadah, Ibn Jurayj and others all said the same. `Ikrimah related that Ibn `Abbas said, "There is no one named Ar-Rahman (the Most Beneficent) other than Him, Blessed and Exalted is He. Most Holy is His Name.''

﴿ وَيَقُولُ ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنُ أَءِذَا مَا مِتُّ لَسَوۡفَ أُخۡرَجُ حَيًّا أَوَلَا يَذۡڪُرُ ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنُ أَنَّا خَلَقۡنَـٰهُ مِن قَبۡلُ وَلَمۡ يَكُ شَيۡـًٔ۬ا فَوَرَبِّكَ لَنَحۡشُرَنَّهُمۡ وَٱلشَّيَـٰطِينَ ثُمَّ لَنُحۡضِرَنَّهُمۡ حَوۡلَ جَهَنَّمَ جِثِيًّ۬ا
﴿ ثُمَّ لَنَنزِعَنَّ مِن كُلِّ شِيعَةٍ أَيُّہُمۡ أَشَدُّ عَلَى ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ عِتِيًّ۬ا ثُمَّ لَنَحۡنُ أَعۡلَمُ بِٱلَّذِينَ هُمۡ أَوۡلَىٰ بِہَا صِلِيًّ۬ا

(66. And man says: "When I am dead, shall I then be raised up alive'') (67. Does not man remember that We created him before, while he was nothing) (68. So by your Lord, surely We shall gather them together, and (also) the Shayatin, then We shall bring them round Hell, Jithyya.) (69. Then indeed We shall drag out from every sect all those who were worst in obstinate rebellion against the Most Gracious.) (70. Then, verily, We know best those who are most worthy of being burnt therein.)

Man's Amazement about Life after Death and the Refutation against this Amazement

Allah, the Exalted, informs that mankind is amazed that he could be returned to life after death and he thinks that this is something farfetched. As Allah says,

﴿ وَإِن تَعۡجَبۡ فَعَجَبٌ۬ قَوۡلُهُمۡ أَءِذَا كُنَّا تُرَٲبًا أَءِنَّا لَفِى خَلۡقٍ۬ جَدِيدٍ‌ۗ

(And if you wonder, then wondrous is their saying: "When we are dust, shall we indeed then be (raised) in a new creation'')(13:5) Allah also says,

﴿ أَوَلَمۡ يَرَ ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنُ أَنَّا خَلَقۡنَـٰهُ مِن نُّطۡفَةٍ۬ فَإِذَا هُوَ خَصِيمٌ۬ مُّبِينٌ۬ وَضَرَبَ لَنَا مَثَلاً۬ وَنَسِىَ خَلۡقَهُ ۥ‌ۖ قَالَ مَن يُحۡىِ ٱلۡعِظَـٰمَ وَهِىَ رَمِيمٌ۬ قُلۡ يُحۡيِيہَا ٱلَّذِىٓ أَنشَأَهَآ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ۬‌ۖ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ خَلۡقٍ عَلِيمٌ

(Does not man see that We have created him from Nutfah. Yet behold he (stands forth) as an open opponent. And he puts forth for Us a parable and forgets his own creation. He says: "Who will give life to these bones after they are rotten and have become dust'' Say: "He will give life to them Who created them for the first time! And He is the All-Knower of every creation!'') (36:77-79) And Allah says here in this Surah,

﴿ وَيَقُولُ ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنُ أَءِذَا مَا مِتُّ لَسَوۡفَ أُخۡرَجُ حَيًّا أَوَلَا يَذۡڪُرُ ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنُ أَنَّا خَلَقۡنَـٰهُ مِن قَبۡلُ وَلَمۡ يَكُ شَيۡـًٔ۬ا

(And man says: "When I am dead, shall I then be raised up alive'' Does not man remember that We created him before, while he was nothing) Allah uses the beginning of creation as a proof for its repetition. This means that He, the Exalted, created the human being while he was nothing. So can he not repeat this creation after the human had actually become something Similarly Allah says;

﴿ وَهُوَ ٱلَّذِى يَبۡدَؤُاْ ٱلۡخَلۡقَ ثُمَّ يُعِيدُهُ ۥ وَهُوَ أَهۡوَنُ عَلَيۡهِ‌ۚ

(And He it is Who originates the creation, then He will repeat it; and this is easier for Him.) (30:27) In the Sahih it is recorded that the Messenger of Allah said,

« يَقُولُ اللهُ تَعَالَى: كَذَّبَنِي ابْنُ آدَمَ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ أَنْ يُكَذِّبَنِي، وَآذَانِي ابْنُ آدَمَ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ أَنْ يُؤْذِيَنِي، أَمَّا تَكْذِيبُهُ إِيَّايَ فَقَوْلُهُ لَنْ يُعِيدَنِي كَمَا بَدَأَنِي، وَلَيْسَ أَوَّلُ الْخَلْقِ بِأَهْوَنَ عَلَيَّ مِنْ آخِرِهِ، وَأَمَّا أَذَاهُ إِيَّايَ فَقَوْلُهُ إِنَّ لِي وَلَدًا وَأَنَا الْأَحَدُ الصَّمَدُ الَّذِي لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ كُفُوًا أَحَد »

(Allah, the Exalted said, "The son of Adam denies Me and he has no right to deny Me. The son of Adam harms Me and he has no right to harm Me. His denial of Me is his statement that I will never repeat His creation like I created him the first time. Yet, the second creation is not more difficult upon Me than the first. His harming Me is his statement that I have a son. Yet, I am One Alone, the Self-Sufficient Whom all creatures need. He Who does not beget children, nor was He born and there is none coequal or comparable unto Him.'') Concerning Allah's statement,

﴿ فَوَرَبِّكَ لَنَحۡشُرَنَّهُمۡ وَٱلشَّيَـٰطِينَ

(So by your Lord, surely We shall gather them together, and the Shayatin,) The Lord, Blessed be He the Most High, swears by His Noble Self that He will definitely gather all of those who worshipped other than Allah and their devils as well.

﴿ ثُمَّ لَنُحۡضِرَنَّهُمۡ حَوۡلَ جَهَنَّمَ جِثِيًّ۬ا

(then We shall bring them round Hell, Jithiyya.) Al-`Awfi related that Ibn `Abbas said, "This means sitting and it is similar to His statement,

﴿ وَتَرَىٰ كُلَّ أُمَّةٍ۬ جَاثِيَةً۬‌ۚ

(And you will see each nation Jathiyah.)'' (45:28) As-Suddi commented on the word Jithiyya, "It means standing.'' It has been reported from Murrah that Ibn Mas`ud said the same. Concerning Allah's statement,

﴿ ثُمَّ لَنَنزِعَنَّ مِن كُلِّ شِيعَةٍ

(Then indeed We shall drag out from every sect) This means from every nation. This is what Mujahid said.

﴿ أَيُّہُمۡ أَشَدُّ عَلَى ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ عِتِيًّ۬ا

(all those who were worst in obstinate rebellion against the Most Gracious.) Ath-Thawri reported from `Ali bin Al-Aqmar, from Abu Al-Ahwas, from Ibn Mas`ud that he said, "The first of them will be bound to the last of them until their number is complete. Then, they will be brought all together. Then, Allah will begin with the greatest of them in crime and continue in succession. That is Allah's statement,

﴿ ثُمَّ لَنَنزِعَنَّ مِن كُلِّ شِيعَةٍ أَيُّہُمۡ أَشَدُّ عَلَى ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ عِتِيًّ۬ا

(Then indeed We shall drag out from every sect all those who were worst in obstinate rebellion against the Most Gracious.) This is similar to Allah's statement,

﴿ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا ٱدَّارَڪُواْ فِيہَا جَمِيعً۬ا قَالَتۡ أُخۡرَٮٰهُمۡ لِأُولَٮٰهُمۡ رَبَّنَا هَـٰٓؤُلَآءِ أَضَلُّونَا فَـَٔاتِہِمۡ عَذَابً۬ا ضِعۡفً۬ا مِّنَ ٱلنَّارِ‌ۖ

(Until they will be gathered all together in the Fire. The last of them will say to the first of them: "Our Lord! These misled us, so give them a double torment of the Fire.'') Until His saying,

﴿ بِمَا كُنتُمۡ تَكۡسِبُونَ

(For what you used to earn.) (7:38-39) The first of them will say to the last of them: "Your were not better than us, so taste the torment for what you used to earn.'' Concerning Allah's statement,

﴿ ثُمَّ لَنَحۡنُ أَعۡلَمُ بِٱلَّذِينَ هُمۡ أَوۡلَىٰ بِہَا صِلِيًّ۬ا

(Then, verily, We know best those who are most worthy of being burnt therein.) Then, at this point Allah attaches one piece of information to another. The meaning here is that Allah best knows which of His creatures deserve to be burned in the fire of Hell and remain there forever and who deserves to have his punishment doubled. This is as He says in the Ayah that was previously mentioned,

﴿ قَالَ لِكُلٍّ۬ ضِعۡفٌ۬ وَلَـٰكِن لَّا تَعۡلَمُونَ

(He will say: "For each one there is double (torment), but you know not.'') (7:38)

﴿ وَإِن مِّنكُمۡ إِلَّا وَارِدُهَا‌ۚ كَانَ عَلَىٰ رَبِّكَ حَتۡمً۬ا مَّقۡضِيًّ۬ا ثُمَّ نُنَجِّى ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّقَواْ وَّنَذَرُ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ فِيہَا جِثِيًّ۬ا

(71. There is not one of you but will pass over it (Hell); this is with your Lord, a decree which must be accomplished.) (72. Then We shall save those who had Taqwa. And We shall leave the wrongdoers in it, Jithiyya.)

Everyone will be brought to Hell, then the Righteous will be saved

Ibn Jarir reported from `Abdullah that he said concerning Allah's statement,

﴿ وَإِن مِّنكُمۡ إِلَّا وَارِدُهَا‌ۚ

(There is not one of you but will pass over it.) "The bridge over Hell is like the sharp edge of a sword. The first group to cross it will pass like a flash of lightning. The second group will pass like the wind. The third group will pass like the fastest horse. The fourth group will pass like the fastest cow. Then, the rest will pass while the angels will be saying, `O Allah save them, save them.' '' This narration has supporting narrations similar to it from the Prophet in the Two Sahihs and other collections as well. These narrations have been related by Anas, Abu Sa`id, Abu Hurayrah, Jabir and other Companions, may Allah be pleased with them all. Ahmad also recorded that Umm Mubashshar, the wife of Zayd bin Harithah, said, "The Messenger of Allah was in the house of Hafsah when he said,

« لَا يَدْخُلُ النَّارَ أَحَدٌ شَهِدَ بَدْرًا وَالْحُدَيْبِيَّة »

(No one who was present at the battles of Badr and Hudaybiyyah (of the Muslims) will enter into the Hellfire.) Then, Hafsah said, "Doesn't Allah say,

﴿ وَإِن مِّنكُمۡ إِلَّا وَارِدُهَا‌ۚ

(There is not one of you but will pass over it (Hell);) The Messenger of Allah replied by reciting,

﴿ ثُمَّ نُنَجِّى ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّقَواْ

(Then We shall save those who had Taqwa.) In the Two Sahihs there is a Hadith reported from Az-Zuhri, from Sa`id from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said,

« لَا يَمُوتُ لِأَحَدٍ مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ ثَلَاثَةٌ مِنَ الْوَلَدِ تَمَسُّهُ النَّارُ إِلَّا تَحِلَّةَ الْقَسَم »

(No one of the Muslims who has had three children, who all died, will be touched by the Hellfire, except for an oath that must be fulfilled.) `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam commented on Allah's statement,

﴿ وَإِن مِّنكُمۡ إِلَّا وَارِدُهَا‌ۚ

(There is not one of you but will pass over it;) "The passing of the Muslims (over the Hellfire) means their passing over a bridge that is over it. But the passing of the idolaters over the Hellfire refers to their admission to the Fire.'' As-Suddi reported from Murrah, from Ibn Mas`ud, that he said concerning Allah's statement,

﴿ كَانَ عَلَىٰ رَبِّكَ حَتۡمً۬ا مَّقۡضِيًّ۬ا

(this is with your Lord; a Hatman decree.) "An oath that must be fulfilled.'' Mujahid said, "Hatman means preordainment.'' Ibn Jurayj said the same. Concerning Allah's statement,

﴿ ثُمَّ نُنَجِّى ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّقَواْ

(Then We shall save those who had Taqwa. ) When all of the creatures passed over the Hellfire, and those disbelievers and the disobedient people who are destined to fall into it because of their disobedience, Allah will save the believers and the righteous people from it because of their deeds. Therefore, their passing over the bridge and their speed will be based upon their deeds that they did in this life. Then, the believers who performed major sins will be allowed intercession. The angels, the Prophets and the believers will all intercede. Thus, a large number of the sinners will be allowed to come out of Hell. The fire will have devoured much of their bodies, except the places of prostration on their faces. Their removal from the Hellfire will be due to the faith in their hearts. The first to come out will be he who has the weight of a Dinar of faith in his heart. Then, whoever has the next least amount after him. Then, whoever is next to that after him, and so forth. This will continue until the one who has the tiniest hint of faith in his heart, equal to the weight of an atom. Then, Allah will take out of the Fire whoever said "La ilaha illallah,'' even one day of his entire life, even if he never performed any good deed. After this, no one will remain in the Hellfire, except those it is obligatory upon to remain in the Hellfire forever. This has been reported in many authentic Hadiths from the Messenger of Allah. This is why Allah says,

﴿ ثُمَّ نُنَجِّى ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّقَواْ وَّنَذَرُ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ فِيہَا جِثِيًّ۬ا

(Then We shall save those who had Taqwa. And We shall leave the wrongdoers in it, Jithyya.)

﴿ وَإِذَا تُتۡلَىٰ عَلَيۡهِمۡ ءَايَـٰتُنَا بَيِّنَـٰتٍ۬ قَالَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ أَىُّ ٱلۡفَرِيقَيۡنِ خَيۡرٌ۬ مَّقَامً۬ا وَأَحۡسَنُ نَدِيًّ۬ا وَكَمۡ أَهۡلَكۡنَا قَبۡلَهُم مِّن قَرۡنٍ هُمۡ أَحۡسَنُ أَثَـٰثً۬ا وَرِءۡيً۬ا

(73. And when Our clear Ayat are recited to them, those who disbelieve say to those who believe: "Which of the two groups has the best dwellings and the finest Nadiyyan'') (74. And how many a generation have We destroyed before them, who were better in wealth, goods and outward appearance)

The Disbelievers boast over Their good Fortune in the World

Allah, the Exalted, informs that when the clear, evident Ayat of Allah are recited to the disbelievers, they reject them and turn away. They say about those who believe, while boasting to them and arguing that their false religion is correct,

﴿ خَيۡرٌ۬ مَّقَامً۬ا وَأَحۡسَنُ نَدِيًّ۬ا

(best dwellings and the finest Nadiyyan.) This means the best houses, with the loftiest levels and the finest Nadiyyan, which are meeting rooms for men to gather and discuss matters. Thus, this means that their meeting rooms are full of more people who come to attend. In this they were saying, "How can we be upon falsehood while we are in this manner of successful living'' These people were actually those who were concealed in the house of Al-Arqam bin Abi Al-Arqam and its likes from the other houses. This is as Allah says about them,

﴿ وَقَالَ ٱلَّذِينَ ڪَفَرُواْ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَوۡ كَانَ خَيۡرً۬ا مَّا سَبَقُونَآ إِلَيۡهِ‌ۚ

(And those who disbelieve say of those who believe: "Had it been a good thing, they (the weak and the poor) would not have preceded us thereto!'') (46:11) Nuh's people said,

﴿ أَنُؤۡمِنُ لَكَ وَٱتَّبَعَكَ ٱلۡأَرۡذَلُونَ

("Shall we believe in you, when the weakest (of the people) follow you'') (26:111) And Allah says,

﴿ وَڪَذَٲلِكَ فَتَنَّا بَعۡضَہُم بِبَعۡضٍ۬ لِّيَقُولُوٓاْ أَهَـٰٓؤُلَآءِ مَنَّ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيۡهِم مِّنۢ بَيۡنِنَآ‌ۗ أَلَيۡسَ ٱللَّهُ بِأَعۡلَمَ بِٱلشَّـٰڪِرِينَ

(Thus We have tried some of them with others, that they might say: "Is it these (poor believers) whom Allah has favored among us'' Does not Allah know best those who are grateful) (6:53) This is why Allah refuted their doubts:

﴿ وَكَمۡ أَهۡلَكۡنَا قَبۡلَهُم مِّن قَرۡنٍ

(And how many a generations have We destroyed before them) This means, "How many nations and generations did We destroy of those who denied (this message) due to their disbelief''

﴿ هُمۡ أَحۡسَنُ أَثَـٰثً۬ا وَرِءۡيً۬ا

(who were better in wealth, goods and outward appearance) This means that they were better than these present people in wealth, possessions, looks and appearance. Al-A`mash reported from Abu Zibyan, who reported from Ibn `Abbas that he said concerning the Ayah,

﴿ خَيۡرٌ۬ مَّقَامً۬ا وَأَحۡسَنُ نَدِيًّ۬ا

(best dwellings and finest Nadiyyan.) "Position (Maqam) means home, Nadi means place of gathering, wealth refers to material possessions and outward appearance is how they look physically.'' Al-`Awfi said that Ibn `Abbas said, "Position (Maqam) means dwelling, Nadi means place of gathering and the blessing and happiness that they were living in. This is as Allah says about the people of Fir`awn when He destroyed them and related the story of their situation in the Qur'an,

﴿ كَمۡ تَرَكُواْ مِن جَنَّـٰتٍ۬ وَعُيُونٍ۬ وَزُرُوعٍ۬ وَمَقَامٍ۬ كَرِيمٍ۬

(How many gardens and springs that they (Fir`awn's people) left behind, and green crops and honored places (Maqam).) (44:25-26) Therefore, position (Maqam) refers to their dwellings and splendid bounties, and Nadi is the places of gathering and meeting where they used to congregate. Allah said while relating the story to His Messenger of what happened with the people of Lut,

﴿ وَتَأۡتُونَ فِى نَادِيكُمُ ٱلۡمُنڪَرَ‌ۖ

(And practice Al-Munkar (evil deeds) in your meeting places (Nadiyakum).) (29:29) The Arabs call a place of gathering a Nadi.''

﴿ قُلۡ مَن كَانَ فِى ٱلضَّلَـٰلَةِ فَلۡيَمۡدُدۡ لَهُ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنُ مَدًّا‌ۚ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا رَأَوۡاْ مَا يُوعَدُونَ إِمَّا ٱلۡعَذَابَ وَإِمَّا ٱلسَّاعَةَ فَسَيَعۡلَمُونَ مَنۡ هُوَ شَرٌّ۬ مَّكَانً۬ا وَأَضۡعَفُ جُندً۬ا

(75. Say: whoever is in error, the Most Gracious will extend (circumstances) for him, until, when they see that which they were promised, either the torment or the Hour, they will come to know who is worst in position, and who is weaker in forces.)

The Rebellious Person is given Respite but He is not forgotten

Allah, the Exalted, says,

﴿ قُلۡ

(Say) This means, "O Muhammad, say to these people who are associating partners with their Lord, while claiming to follow the truth, that they are really following falsehood.''

﴿ مَن كَانَ فِى ٱلضَّلَـٰلَةِ

(whoever is in error) This means, `be they from us or from you.'

﴿ فَلۡيَمۡدُدۡ لَهُ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنُ مَدًّا‌ۚ

(the Most Gracious will extend (circumstances) for him.) This means that the Most Beneficent will give him respite in that which he is in, until he meets his Lord and his appointed time will have arrived.

﴿ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا رَأَوۡاْ مَا يُوعَدُونَ إِمَّا ٱلۡعَذَابَ

(until, when they see that which they were promised, either the torment) that will strike him,

﴿ وَإِمَّا ٱلسَّاعَةَ

(or the Hour) that will come suddenly,

﴿ فَسَيَعۡلَمُونَ

(they will come to know) at that time,

﴿ مَنۡ هُوَ شَرٌّ۬ مَّكَانً۬ا وَأَضۡعَفُ جُندً۬ا

(who is worst in position, and who is weaker in forces.) This is in refutation of their argument about their nice dwellings and splendid places of gathering. This is a challenge against the idolaters who claim that they were following guidance in what they were doing. This is similar to the challenge that Allah mentions about the Jews when He says,

﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ هَادُوٓاْ إِن زَعَمۡتُمۡ أَنَّكُمۡ أَوۡلِيَآءُ لِلَّهِ مِن دُونِ ٱلنَّاسِ فَتَمَنَّوُاْ ٱلۡمَوۡتَ إِن كُنتُمۡ صَـٰدِقِينَ

(O you Jews! If you pretend that you are friends of Allah, to the exclusion of (all) other people, then long for death if you are truthful.) (62:6) Meaning, `Supplicate for death to come to those who are following falsehood among us if you truly claim to be upon the truth. If you are true, then this supplication will not harm you.' But they refused to do so. An extensive discussion of this has already preceded in Surat Al-Baqarah, and to Allah is the praise. Likewise, Allah mentioned the challenge that was given to the Christians in Surah Al `Imran, when they were persistent in their disbelief and continued in their transgression. They refused to give up their exaggerating claim that `Isa was the son of Allah. Therefore, Allah mentioned His arguments and proofs against the worship of `Isa, and that he was merely a creature like Adam. After this, Allah said,

﴿ فَمَنۡ حَآجَّكَ فِيهِ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ مَا جَآءَكَ مِنَ ٱلۡعِلۡمِ فَقُلۡ تَعَالَوۡاْ نَدۡعُ أَبۡنَآءَنَا وَأَبۡنَآءَكُمۡ وَنِسَآءَنَا وَنِسَآءَكُمۡ وَأَنفُسَنَا وَأَنفُسَكُمۡ ثُمَّ نَبۡتَہِلۡ فَنَجۡعَل لَّعۡنَتَ ٱللَّهِ عَلَى ٱلۡڪَـٰذِبِينَ

(Then whoever disputes with you about him after (all this) knowledge that has come to you, say: "Come, let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves - then we pray and invoke (sincerely) the curse of Allah upon those who lie.'') (3:61) However, they (the Christians) also retreated from this challenge.

﴿ وَيَزِيدُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱهۡتَدَوۡاْ هُدً۬ى‌ۗ وَٱلۡبَـٰقِيَـٰتُ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتُ خَيۡرٌ عِندَ رَبِّكَ ثَوَابً۬ا وَخَيۡرٌ۬ مَّرَدًّا

(76. And Allah increases in guidance those who walk aright. And the righteous good deeds that last are better with your Lord for reward and better for resort.)